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Film Awards to be revealed

Film Awards to be revealed

The Greening of
Southie. Image Credit:  © Wicked Delicate
Click to enlarge

Production still from ‘The Greening of Southie’, one of five nominees for ‘Best Feature Film’ in the Reel Earth awards. Image Credit: © Wicked Delicate Films

Film Awards to be revealed

19 May 08
Palmerston North

After a fortnight of concealing the boisterous secret, winners of the juried Reel Earth awards, including Best Feature Film and Best New Zealand Film, will be announced in Palmerston North this Thursday.

Reel Earth offers an outstanding film festival experience including awards, visiting filmmakers, and film premieres. Entries span a diverse range of eco themes including natural history, environmental justice, individual empowerment, ecological sustainability, and community action.

“We’ve broken all previous records for numbers of entries and diversity of content” says director Brent Barrett, “selecting among more than 220 entries from 33 countries; each one crafted to variously inform, stimulate thought, provoke debate, uplift, encourage and inspire.”

“The range of films has challenged the Festival’s selectors and jury panellists, but we’re confident the best have been discovered” says Brent.

Juries have sealed their awards decisions in four film categories: Feature, Short, Micro, and New Zealand.

Best Feature Film is the most coveted award, for which two New Zealand, two American, and a German film were nominated from among the twenty-seven official selections. Four of the five nominees are making their Australasian premieres at Reel Earth.

The first nomination went to The Greening of Southie (2007 USA), a documentary which conveys the surprisingly human tale of the challenges of eco-building and urban design in traditional South Boston.

It goes up against The Nuclear Comeback (2007 NZ), confronting viewers with the tempting claims of those championing nuclear power to short circuit the looming energy crunch.

The third nomination went to Brave New West (2008 USA), a quirky personal story of the ripening of an eco-activist in the canyonlands of the American Southwest.

The Crayfish in the Jam Jar (2008 Germany) was nominated for its cinemagraphic beauty as a portrait of place and celebration of the close connection we share with home and nature.

The final nomination went to Death on the Beach (2008 NZ), an intimate portrait of the relationships both Pakeha and Māori share with whales, and the sorrow unleashed by their mass strandings on our shores.

“We also had a tight contest in the New Zealand Film category” says Brent. Prizes in the category include Best New Zealand Film, and Best Young Filmmaker sponsored this year by EnviroChoice.

“In addition to the nominated New Zealand features, top films from amateur and young filmmakers got a look in.” Prominent nominees include Xtreme Waste (Waikato) the inspiring story of one community’s go-ahead approach to their mountains of rubbish; Bright Ideas (Nelson) which captures a youthful vision for sustainability; and Calici: A Rural Conspiracy (Otago) which details New Zealand’s biggest blatant (and some say most successful) biosecurity breach.

“There’s always an outside runner” say Brent. This year it’s the short film Shooting to Learn (2007 NZ). “Some claim its anti-environment, but it has a nomination”. The film cuts across the conservation grain by arguing that the tussock-guzzling Himalayan thar, being globally threatened with extinction, should be conserved in New Zealand.

Reel Earth film award winners will be announced Thursday at the Globe Theatre, Palmerston North. Tickets ($15/$10) are available now at Bruce McKenzie booksellers, and on the door from 6 p.m. Principal sponsor of the 2008 Festival Season of Reel Earth are the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust. Reel Earth is online at


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